Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), born Jacob Cohen, was an American comedian and actor, best known for the catchphrases "I don't get no respect" or "I get no respect" and his monologues on that theme.
On April 8, 2003, Dangerfield underwent brain surgery to improve blood flow in preparation for heart valve-replacement surgery on August 24, 2004. Upon entering the hospital, he uttered another characteristic one-liner when asked how long he would be hospitalized: "If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour-and-a-half.”
In September 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield had been in a coma for several weeks. Afterward, he began breathing on his own and showing signs of awareness when visited by friends. However, on October 5, 2004, he died at the UCLA Medical Center, from complications of the surgery he had undergone in August. He was a month and a half short of his 83rd birthday.
Dangerfield was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. In keeping with his "No Respect" persona, his headstone reads simply, "Rodney Dangerfield...There goes the neighborhood.”
Joan Child held an event in which the word "Respect" had been emblazoned in the sky, while each guest was given a live Monarch butterfly for a Native American butterfly-release ceremony led by Farrah Fawcett.
NOTE: Farrah Fawcett lies next to her friend Rodney at Westwood Cemetery.
UCLA's Division of Neurosurgery named a suite of operating rooms after him, and gave him the "Rodney Respect Award" which his wife presented to Jay Leno on October 20, 2005. It was presented on behalf of the David Geffen School of Medicine/Division of Neurosurgery at UCLA at their 2005 Visionary Ball.
Comedy Central aired a special titled Legends: Rodney Dangerfield on September 10, 2006, which commemorated his life and legacy. Featured comedians included Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Ray Romano, Roseanne Barr, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Saget, Jerry Stiller, Kevin Kline and Jeff Foxworthy.
The Northern Irish rock band, The Dangerfields, are named in tribute to him.
Impressed by Dangerfield's role in Caddyshack, Europet's design manager Allen Shuemaker brought forth the idea of creating a line of animal chew toys modeled after the comedian. The line had a short run in 1989 and, in recent years, have become highly desirable by a small group of collectors.
The ending credits of The George Lopez Show feature an homage to Rodney Dangerfield.
In 2007, it was reported that a Rodney Dangerfield tattoo is among the most popular celebrity tattoos in the United States.
On Triple M's now defunct radio program 'Get This', co-anchor Ed Kavalee used to champion the digital addition of Rodney Dangerfield to movies in an attempt to make them more interesting. Callers would often make their own suggestions regarding this.
In the final taping of "the Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on May 29, 2009, Leno credited Dangerfield with the style of joke Leno had been using for the past few years. The format of the joke is that the comedian tells a sidekick how bad something is—in the case of "Tonight," guitar player Kevin Eubanks—and the sidekick sets up the joke by asking just how bad that something is.